Björk has had 9 albums and a number of extra songs as B-sides on Singles. The albums are:
  1. Björk - 1977 (aka Fálkinn),
  2. Gling-Gló,
  3. Debut,
  4. Post,
  5. Telegram,
  6. Homogenic,
  7. Selmasongs (from the film, Dancer in the Dark), &
  8. Vespertine (September 2001)
  9. Medúlla (August 2004)
  10. Drawing Restraint 9, with Matthew Barney (July 2005)

Some B-sides:

  1. Atlantic,
  2. Gloomy Sunday,
  3. I Remember You,
  4. Lilith,
  5. My Snare (Nature is Ancient),
  6. Nu flyver Anton,
  7. Oxygen,
  8. Scary,
  9. So Broken,
  10. Sod Off,
  11. Visur Vatnsenda-Rósu

She has also collaborated with artists such as Graham Massey, Mika Vainio, Funkstörung, etc.

Notes on Björk making movies:

Björk starred in at least two films before "Dancer in the dark"; "The Juniper Tree" (Leading role) and "Pret a Porter" (Cameo apperance).
She has stated that she won't participate in a film again, after several problems due to the creative restrictment that a film imposes on actors.
Björk made the music for "Dancer in the Dark", with some of the other actors on vocals. She felt that mr. Lars von Trier restricted her even in her 'own' field.
Her music has been in a truckload of movies like; "Leon", "The X-Files", "Stigmata", "Anton", "The Young Americans" etc.
Björk:
charming. dramatic. kaleidoscopic. sexy.

Björk Gudmunsdottir is honest about what is hers:
"All I have is intuition."
Her intuition, then, has served her well, putting her additionally into the centre of criticism and debate.
She reminisces: "I was on television when I was very pregnant. I was nineteen with my stomach sticking out. And the Icelandic television had never got so many complaints. People called, wrote letters and were angry, and one woman got a heart attack. So it can be dangerous to do what you want."
Well, call her dangerous, because Björk has done exactly what she wanted for almost twenty years. Her sound and image are a tug of war between the clear and the cluttered.

On any typical day, we can invariably find Björk with consciously messy hair, arms outstretched, hyper yet focused eyes, knees locked, feet uncomfortably turned out, a bright collage of clothing lending a fruit basket with an attitude look.

Björk was frustrated with how little input she had in her first album's production, and spent her teenage years swinging between punk bands before settling with the Sugarcubes. She describes this experience as "magical". But though the six friends loved each other dearly, they struggled to maintain a musical passion, and Björk separated from the band after six years.
Björk paints an innocent picture of her album Debut: "For me, it was very much like the songs I had kept in darkness and locked in my little diary, only to be seen by myself." These songs were written in the evenings, after she put her son Sundri to bed. They are secretive and anticipatory, as relayed in the song, "Big Time Sensuality":
"And I know I'm a bit too intimate/ But something huge is coming up/ And we're both included/ It takes courage to enjoy it/ The hardcore and the gentle/ Big time sensuality."

Björk left Iceland (she was born in Reykjavík on November 21st, 1965), and her love life to move to London, and her 1995 "divorce" album followed. Most critics judged "Post" to be a worthy successor to "Debut", finding it complex and ambitious, ignoring conventions of form and proving that Björk's work went deeper than exotic charm. Björk was deeply offended at criticisms that the album was too electronic. "If I hear one more person who comes up to me and complains that 'computer-music has no soul' then I will go furious, you know. 'Cause of course the computer is just a tool. And if there is no soul in computer-music, then it's because nobody put it there, and that's not the computer’s role."

In 1997, Björk released "Homogenic". While still retaining her characteristic whisper-to-shriek vocal style, the album was less commercial and less melodic. Yet it was emotionally fragile, darker and more textured than her first two albums. Wiser than the orange-haired girl of her youth, she comments, "The more discipline you have, the more freedom you have."

Her playful yet controlled sensibility breeds an innovative musician, whose quirks are simply part of her talent.

Björk Guðmundsdóttir aka Björk¹

The Name

Björk's name contains many letters unfamiliar to many languages; in her native Icelandic the following pronunciation is correct, (according to my hearing of her pronouncing her name with her pre-London accent):

  • B as English B.
  • J as Y in yes.
  • Ö as UR in fur but shorter, and without the R.
  • R pronounced with a single trill, similar to an L.
  • K as English K.

Around the world, the pronunciation is localised into more familiar sounds, with much of the English-speaking world saying bee-york.

Her surname, written Gudmundsdottir or Guthmundsdottir in the English world, is a product of Icelandic naming convention, meaning Guðmund's Daughter. Pronunciation of this is left as an exercise for the reader.

The Early Years

Björk was born in Reykyavik, Iceland on November 21, 1965. Her quasi-hippy parents, Guðmundur Gunnarsson and Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, encouraged her creativity a great deal, and by the age of 5 she was playing piano and flute. She attended a local music school to further her talents. Her rebellious streak began to show at this stage; she was being taught that "200 years of German music is it, and the rest is crap" which she didn't accept².

Her distinctive features were also causing her to stand out. Her pixie-looks and black hair, which is very rare in Iceland, gained her the nickname 'China Girl' in school.

She released her first album, imaginatively entitled Björk, at the age of 11. Released only in Iceland, it includes two instrumental tracks, one of which is a tribute to Icelandic artist Jóhannes Kjarval.

Punk, Thor and Sindri

During her teenage years, Björk was a member of several fleeting punk bands including Exodus, Tappi Tíkarass, and Kukl being the most prominent with two album releases. It was during this time that she met and married Thor Eldon. He fathered her child, Sindri Thorsson but the marriage split up shortly afterwards.

In 1986, Björk entered the new wave, with the Sugarcubes (Sykurmólarnir), co-founded with Eldon. The band enjoyed considerable success, with indie chart toppers and high-profile tours with bands such as U2 and New Order.

Solo

After the Sugarcubes split amicably in 1992, Björk moved to London with Sindri, and began work on a solo career. The Sugarcubes had just had a hint of stardom with their last original³ album (Hit), but that was nothing compared with what was to come.

Björk started working with Nellee Hooper, a very well established producer, already famous for his work with Soul II Soul. Her first solo album (Debut) enjoyed enormous success internationally. It was only now that the general public began to know who Björk was.

With her move to London came a change in her accent, which now stands exactly half-way between Icelandic and North London, a strange combination indeed.

Problems

She began dating Goldie, which attracted the attention of an American fanatic - opposed to interracial relationships. He filmed himself sending her an acid bomb then killing himself. Luckily the bomb never reached her, but she was shaken by the event.

Björk has always had a rough time with the media, who seem to be attracted to her quirky ways; she went as far as attacking a photographer at Bangkok Airport when he was attempting to photograph her and then 10-year-old Sindri. She stated: "I'm willing to take on the not-so-nice things that come with my job. It's fair. But when it starts to leaking over to my family or especially my child, I get very protective"

She has had a brief foray into film, but finds the artistic reins pulled too tight, and has vowed not to add to her collection of three appearances.

Her discography and filmography are left to other writeups.


Sources:
http://www.heavenlycelebrities.com/bjork.html
http://www.tribute.ca/all_actors/bios/6207.htm
http://www.time.com/time/musicgoesglobal/europe/mbjork.html
http://www.usatoday.com/life/enter/movies/movie820.htm

¹ Everyone is on first-name terms in Iceland. Even in the phone book.
² The quotation is of Björk's words, not those of the music school!
³ Other albums followed, but they were all remixes.

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